In our previous blog post, we shared how our latest Grow Appalachia program venture we planned to make gardening more accessible to parents while providing a fun and educational activity for their kids. This week we continued with the kids’ activity, so the grown-ups received a course on maintaining their gardens, and the kids learned about different bugs and their role in gardening.
Our aim was to teach the little ones about the importance of creating a balanced ecosystem in their gardens. We wanted them to understand that not all bugs are harmful, and some are actually beneficial for the growth and health of their plants. Hence, we engaged the kids in several exciting activities and games that taught them how to identify the “good” and “bad” bugs and their role in their gardens.
We also taught them some kid-safe remedies for any pest problems they might encounter. For example, they learned that spraying insecticides on plants can kill beneficial bugs along with harmful ones, and it’s best to use natural pest control methods. They were amazed to discover that some plants, such as marigolds, basil, and garlic, have natural insect-repelling properties and can help keep the bad bugs away.
Once the little ones had identified the good and bad bugs in their garden patches, we helped them build bug houses using pinecones, reeds, and other materials. We explained to them how these bug houses could provide shelter for the beneficial bugs, such as ladybugs, bees, and butterflies, and how they could place them around their gardens to attract these pollinators.